Following the article on Sunday which highlighted how Andratx resident Elisabeth Ceulen and her family have taken to cleaning up rubbish not just on the streets but also on beaches, and further also to a report of 21 July in which the environmentalist group GOB drew attention to the amount of plastic waste around Cabrera, there is confirmation of the scale of the waste problem in seas off the Balearics.
The government’s director-general for waste, Sebastian Sansó, says that the 33 vessels that are engaged to keep the shorelines clean collected a daily average of 1,500 kilograms of waste in the first ten days of August: “an exceptionally high figure”.
The average in previous years has been between 600 and 800 kilograms a day.
In July, more than half the total waste that was collected (over 27,000 kilograms) was plastic, with wood accounting for roughly a quarter: algae also made a significant contribution - nearly 4,500 kilograms.
The co-ordinator for the coastal cleaning service, Josep Maria Aguiló, explains that currents and wind have brought a great deal of waste from Algeria, where landfills are right by the coast itself.
Moreover, the high sea temperatures have led to plastic floating up from the seabed.